ChristenUnie refuses to enter coalition Cabinet

29th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

29 November 2006, AMSTERDAM — The chances of a left-of-centre coalition government involving the Christian Democrat CDA, Labour PvdA and Socialist SP took a definite step forward on Wednesday.

29 November 2006

AMSTERDAM — The chances of a left-of-centre coalition government involving the Christian Democrat CDA, Labour PvdA and Socialist SP took a definite step forward on Wednesday.

ChristenUnie leader André Rouvoet told informateur Rein Jan Hoekstra that a coalition of the CDA, PvdA and SP was the most obvious.

Earlier, it had been suggested that a coalition government could be made up of the CDA, PvdA and the smaller ChristenUnie because of large policy differences between the CDA and SP.

But Rouvoet told Hoekstra — who is chairing the difficult coalition formation talks — that the ChristenUnie would not join a coalition government.

The ChristenUnie doubled its representation in Parliament at last week's elections, moving from three to six seats. But Rouvoet said that was a moderate win compared with the SP's gain, which moved from nine to 25 seats.

However, the ChristenUnie might still play an important role in the coalition formation if the CDA and SP cannot come to a compromise on contentious policy issues.

Meanwhile, Geert Wilders of the far-right Freedom Party PVV — which moved from one seat to nine last week — said he would be prepared to support a centre-right Cabinet.

He said such a coalition would be made up of the CDA, Liberal VVD, ChristenUnie and the PVV.

But the chance that such a coalition government would be formed is small because Wilders' plans for the integration of immigrants into Dutch society are at odds with those of the ChristenUnie.

Wilders is still hopeful, however: "We are not scared to enter opposition ... but nothing is worse for the country than a left-wing cabinet," he said.

The leader of green-left GroenLinks Femke Halsema also met with informateur Hoekstra on Wednesday. She said her party would not play a role in the coalition formation.

The nation's smaller parties were meeting with Hoekstra on Wednesday after the larger parties advised him about the coalition formation on Tuesday. The first round of 'exploratory' coalition talks is expected to take a couple of weeks.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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